Snow Lake Trail

MODERATE 1233 reviews

Snow Lake Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

hot springs

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

washed out

The first 2 miles are direct, and the final has rock blasted switchbacks to the top of the ridge. Pay attention to signs as you need to branch right off the trail about 2 miles in. You can extend or shorten the hike by stopping right when you get to the lake or by hiking further along it. In winter, you can snowshoe here, but it will be much more difficult to find the trail. Dress accordingly and bring the proper gear.

hiking
snow
2 days ago

There was tons of new snow and the trail to Snow Lake stopped at the switchbacks. Going beyond was impossible given the several feet of snow and sinking to my waste even with snow shoes.

hiking
snow
16 days ago

very firm nice snow easy to walk some people used crampons or snowshoes the end gets very tricky since is going up the mountain. very icy

snowshoeing
snow
29 days ago

We did the hike today and loved it. It was our first snowshoeing experience. Although people had their regular hiking shoes on, I think it is best to wear snowshoes. It was an easy hike even for beginners such as us. However, we couldn’t reach the lake because it got super steep after we completed 2/3 of the hike. It got crowded after 1pm or so. I will definitely come again for dry season.

snowshoeing
29 days ago

Tons of snow, avalanches risk only for advanced hikers.

hiking
snow
30 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked on Friday. This was my first time doing a snow hiking so it’s little bit difficult for me. Just made 2/3 of the trail because the snow was deeper in the last 1/3 and the trail was so narrow. I def. hike again with a better preparation to complete the trail. The scenery was very beautiful tho.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked as far as we could today- a recent avvy slide completely demolished the rest of the trail right before reaching the lake. Multiple hikers that got there before us said they tried going around it right, then left, and ultimately couldn’t make it to the lake. Some of them had GPS and still didn’t make it to the lake.
Otherwise a beautiful hike! There was a decent amount of snow, although we didn’t need snowshoes. We just had microspikes and we were absolutely fine. The snow on the trail was decently padded down when we went and it was warm enough that there was no ice- the microspikes just gave us good grip on compact snow.
Didn’t see any extreme signs of imminent avvy danger, besides the recent slide that ended up stopping our hike early. There is water running through the trail area and one stream was noticeably running underneath a small snowfield, but it wasn’t too steep of a grade and didn’t concern me.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up today! Beautiful hike. With snow plows, needed to jump up to trail head. Hiked with spikes for 1.75 miles then lost trail. You could see the divots but didn’t bring snowshoes so decided to turn back. Saw a few hikers, snowshoers & cross country skiers. Maybe they good blaze the trail. A few slides in open fields. Fun streams to cross

hiking
1 month ago

Took us 2 hours up, 1.5hr down. The whole trail has snow on it, but the first half of the trail was packed down snow. We had spikes on the whole time, but snow shoes would be good for the last half of the trail since we started blazing the trail. There was only one area that was a difficult to get up. Definitely need poles! There was one other group in front of us making a trail since you can't see it eventually. Once we started hiking down we saw a lot more groups hiking up.

1 month ago

Love hiking in the winter as a rainy day or break alt from skiing. Multiple stream crossings are my son’s (5) favorite. Watch out for streams filling up. Need grippy shoes (we turned the hike back into a slip and slide due to my son’s Bogs). We only have done the first mile. Definitely coming back in the summer for some backpacking.

hiking
1 month ago

It is beautiful for sure for a bit too crowded for my liking.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Snow lake did not disappoint. I made it to the top of the lake and didn’t press my luck traversing down to the actual lake. Gorgeous scenery. Tons of snow. A bit wet. But nothing too bad!

hiking
1 month ago

Did the hike today but only made it about one third or half way due to rain and the trail being washed out a bit. With the rain we thought it was better to be safe so we turned back about halfway. We didn't use snow shoes but we used crampons. Snow shoes are not necessary due to compact snow but if you don't have crampons I would suggest snowshoes. We actually saw a group of 3 guys not dressed for the trail and one of them had on cowboy boots!! The views were beautiful. Next time we plan to get to Snow Lake!

hiking
1 month ago

Went up this morning with high hopes. Trailhead was a little hidden (it’s between the 2 upper parking lots at Alpental and requires a little climb up a snow bank from the snow plows). Brought spikes and snow shoes and used both. Some sections were a bit narrow for shoes though. Spikes would have sufficed for most of the way up. The trail was easy to follow and walk on with packed snow though some sections were soft and did some postholing in spikes.
Unfortunately, once the trail spilts and the switch backs starts, most of the trail was washed out but small slides and avalanches. Going the other direction towards the rim had the same result. I wasn’t comfortable blazing a new route on my own given the rainy weather and the threat of more slides. Disappointed I got as close as 3/4 mi from the lake but it was still a fun hike. Still clocked in 5 1/2 miles RT.
*I used GAIA to make sure I stayed on the trail in the washes out areas but it got a bit too deep for me and my dog.

hiking
1 month ago

Only went about one-third of the way because the family pooped out, but still beautiful and not too much traffic. We brought snowshoes but didn't need them because the snow was already hard-packed from other hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of snow, trail gets a little harder near the switch backs. Bring gloves and a beanie, and poles would help. waterproof gear. Trail is narrow, I wouldn’t wear snow shoes

hiking
1 month ago

I completed this hike in late October and it was beautiful! We started a little too late in the day and ended up being still on the trail at nightfall. It was a little chilly after dark but overall the temperatures were comfortable. It was a little too foggy to see the lake completely but the views were definitely still worth it. The trail gets narrow and rocky (and wet!) in several spots so I wouldn't recommend this hike for young children. The full loop is actually 7.2 miles. Great hike!

1 month ago

we did this overnight 12/19/18. we got up about a mile before we had to put on snowshoes as it was clear no one has use the trail in a while. the trail is only fairly marked but even with the snow it was fairly easy to follow. hopefully we made it easier for people to follow after we trailblazed it lol. other than that beautiful hike!

hiking
1 month ago

trail is quite narrow for snowshoes ended up taking them off and just wearing yaktrax. beautiful views but definitly pay attention. we totally missed the fork for snow lake.

hiking
2 months ago

This is my favorite hike of all time. It is so pretty! great views of the mountains. A lot of different wild flowers, mushrooms and landscapes. Once you get to the lake, it takes your breath away. ** I completed this hike in early fall.

2 months ago

Excellent!!

hiking
2 months ago

大雪❄️
晴天去看雪。女友们周一已经去探过路了,皆震撼于雪霁初晴的湖光山色,特意来相邀再走一遍。第一次穿上钉鞋去爬雪山,脚下嘎吱嘎吱作响,路旁是巍峨洁白的群山,挺拔耸立的树,银装素裹,另有一番妖娆。行者,便是这冰雪世界的一道亮色。偶尔,有一两个未封冻的树洞,不知道把秘密藏进去,明春会不会开出美丽的花朵?湖水没有秋天的的清澈透明,有三分之一冻上了,剩下的的湖面深沉平静。山顶有鸟儿飞来飞去,只为了冬天这来之不易的美食。下山时,迎着骄阳,有彩云相送。

2 months ago

Beautiful!

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! You definitely need snow cleats and a pole, but no snow shoes required. This is a popular trail, so the snow on the trail has been compacted down. We started at 8am and only ran into one group of hikers at the top, but we passed plenty on the way down. I definitely think the snow makes this hike more beautiful! Great hike, even if you're new to winter hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing peaceful hike. Hiked Friday last week and was snowing heavily. Wore Yaktrax but some steep icy switchbacks near summit so lightweight spikes would have been better. Had to scramble a little and butt slide down parts. Park in Alpental Ski area then walk up road beyond the ‘No vehicles sign’ and the trail is on your right: look for steps.

Overall beautiful. Lots of water crossings so def need waterproof boots.

2 months ago

I went there this morning December 1/2018. The the first mile was very easy and my micro spikes were enough. The snow got deeper so I used my snowshoes. It was the perfect day for it.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Very good views of the lake nestled amongst tree-lined peaks - well worth the hike. One of the rockier trails I’ve done, so sturdy soles are a must. It does get pretty slippery and icy close to the top. I had to bundle up as the wind picked up closer to the top, but then is cut off once you get through the switchbacks towards the lake. Overall, great hike!

hiking
3 months ago

This was our first hike in the PNW! We loved it! It was a little bit slippery at the top, thankfully we had read reviews and used microspikes, they made all the difference!
We really enjoyed it! and the view was amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

Super crowded. But the spectacular view of the lake was worth putting up with the hordes of people.

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